Holy spirit

The personality of the Holy Spirit

This is another part of a series of excerpts from “What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity,” published by the High Street Press of the MBC (visit highstreet.press).

The Bible reveals both the personality and the divinity of the Holy Spirit. In this column we focus on Spirit as a person, for without personality Spirit cannot be divine. In the next column we show from the scriptures how this person possesses all of the attributes of the Godhead.

One of the clearest demonstrations of the Holy Spirit’s personality is his use of personal pronouns in reference to himself. Two examples clearly show this:

Acts 10: 19-20 – “While Peter was considering the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Three men are looking for you here. Arise, descend and go with them without a doubt, for I have sent them.

Acts 13: 1-2 – “Now, in the church of Antioch, there were prophets and doctors: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they worshiped the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ ”

Note that the Holy Spirit speaks personally to Peter as well as to believers in the Church of Antioch. These are the actions of a sentient being, not an impersonal force.

Jesus also uses personal pronouns to speak of the Holy Spirit, telling his disciples, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak for himself, but he will say whatever he hears. He will also tell you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will take of what is mine and declare it to you ”(John 16: 13-14).

According to Jesus, the Holy Spirit arrives, guides, discerns the truth, hears and speaks, reveals future events, testifies of and glorifies Jesus – all demonstrations of personality.

Personal activities

Now, consider several passages of Scripture that describe the personal activities of the Holy Spirit. We see that the Spirit:

Speak. In King David’s last recorded words, he claims to speak in the name of God under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “The Spirit of the Lord has spoken through me, his word was on my tongue” (2 Sam. 23: 2).

In Luke’s account of the conversion of the Ethiopian official, he notes: “The Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go and join this chariot’” (Acts 8:29).

Reveals future events. When a prophet named Agabus visits Paul in Philip’s house in Caesarea, he takes Paul’s belt, ties it with his feet and hands, and says, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: man. who has this belt and delivers it to the Gentiles ”(Acts 21:11).

Choose and empower. The Spirit installs and empowers the judges of Israel, like Othniel: “The Israelites cried out to the Lord. So the Lord raised up Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, as a deliverer to save the Israelites. The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel… ”(Judges 3: 9-10).

Confirms our adoption into the family of God. Paul writes: “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’ So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then God made you heir ”(Gal. 4: 6-7).

Intercede on our behalf. Paul explains that “the Spirit himself intercedes for us with unspoken groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God ”(Rom. 8: 26-27).

Appoint supervisors. Paul said to the elders of Ephesus: “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the Church of God, which he has acquired by his own. blood ”(Acts 20:28).

Distribute spiritual gifts. In writing to the Corinthians about spiritual gifts, Paul portrays the three members of the Godhead working together, emphasizing that “God produces every gift in every person” (1 Cor. 12: 6). After a partial enumeration of these gifts, Paul concludes: “One and the same Spirit acts in all, distributing to each one as he wills” (v. 11).

Can be blasphemed. When some Pharisees accuse Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan, Jesus responds that he casts out demons by the Spirit of God (Matthew 12: 24-28). He continues: “Therefore, I say to you, people will be forgiven for all sin and blasphemy, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven” (v. 31; see also Mark 3: 28-29) .

May be distressed. Paul warns the Ephesians: “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God. You were sealed by him for the day of redemption ”(Eph. 4:30; see also Isaiah 63: 10-11).

Can be insulted. The author of Hebrews warns his readers against the danger of willful sin, which necessarily insults “the Spirit of grace” (Hebrews 10: 28-29).

Gives new life. Jesus spoke to Nicodemus of the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit, “bringing forth of the Spirit” (John 3: 5-8).

Other passages could be cited, but these are sufficient to demonstrate the personality of the Holy Spirit.

Next: The divinity of the Holy Spirit.